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Can a university Revoke a Degree ?

Can a university Revoke a Degree


To revoke a degree is to return it to the university as if it had never been granted. Yes, it is correct. Many colleges and universities reserve the power to revoke a degree even after it has been handed to the student during the graduation ceremony by the dean or another school official. They accomplish this by incorporating degree revocation into their sanctions procedures. 

Some schools and universities impose a time limit on prosecuting academic integrity infractions, similar to how criminal charges have a statute of limitations. Many institutions, however, do not. The degree is not merely something that is paid for and acquired once and then kept by the graduate for the rest of their lives. Instead, the degree is a school-issued continuous qualification. Years after graduation, graduates may face scrutiny, sanctions, and serious repercussions.

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Why would a university revoke a degree? 

For a school or university, rescinding a degree is the worst possible outcome. It suggests that, despite taking actions that should have disqualified the student from getting a degree, they did so, and that action must be taken years, if not decades, later to rectify the situation. 

In other words, a degree should never have to be retracted since it should never have been conferred in the first place. However, such measures are considered as vital to maintain academic integrity. In this context, academic integrity refers to the institution’s and degrees’ integrity, not simply to one’s own honesty or integrity while studying. 

A university degree is designed to show that a person has finished some level of study and gained some level of knowledge to others outside the university. If students who do not match those standards earn degrees, it lowers the value of degrees earned by students who did all required of them. 

When a school revokes a degree, it is not to penalize the student who received it in the past, but to protect the integrity of the institution and the degrees it awards. In a nutshell, it’s done for the students who have received their diplomas. 

However, revoking degrees is a contentious issue, especially for individuals who face having their degree revoked.

Revocation of a degree is an adversarial situation. 

Students and graduates have compelling reasons for colleges and universities to treat them fairly. No one benefits from false and fabricated accusations of academic misconduct. However, once a school starts the revocation procedure, the graduate should expect it to be a contentious process. Schools do not initiate degree revocation proceedings unless they have reason to believe the graduate has engaged in serious academic misconduct. If a graduate is facing a degree revocation hearing, they should presume that the institution feels they are guilty and should not be held innocent unless proven guilty in a fair hearing. When a college or university initiates a degree revocation process, it rarely acts in the best interests of the graduate. 

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The process of revocation of a degree is not only confrontational, but it can also be lengthy and complicated. They can take months to complete, with the graduate being baffled by the inquiry, pre-hearing, and hearing procedures. Degree revocation proceedings unquestionably necessitate the representation of an experienced, dedicated attorney who is well-versed in the inner workings of an academic institution. Joseph D. Lento of the Lento Law Firm, a national academic attorney, puts his extensive knowledge gained from hundreds of college and university misconduct procedures around the country to good use. Attorney Lento can help you defend your degree revocation case.

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Popular People whose degrees were revoked

Pál Schmitt resigned as President of Hungary a week after Semmelweis University in Budapest revoked his degree. Semmelweis accused Schmitt, a two-time Olympic fencing gold medalist, of plagiarizing major sections of his doctoral thesis, according to a BBC story. According to a Semmelweis commission, there was at least partial copying on over 200 pages of Schmitt’s 215-page thesis. 

Although former German defense minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg appeared to be Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor apparent, he resigned on March 1, 2011 after confessing to plagiarizing parts of his law doctorate. His degree was canceled by Universität Bayreuth due to severe flaws in his paper. 

Guttenberg isn’t the only German politician who has had his alma institution penalize him. Due to plagiarism, two members of the European Parliament have had their doctorates revoked: Silvana Koch-doctorate Mehrin’s was revoked by the University of Heidelberg, and Jorgo Chatzimarkakis’ doctorate was revoked by the University of Bonn. 

In 2008, West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics reported that Heather Bresch, the daughter of then-West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin III, had been denied an E.M.B.A. 

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the university president and other high-profile executives resigned after a commission discovered that WVU had granted Bresch grades “literally snatched from thin air” for classes she didn’t complete. According to the newspaper, Bresch is also the CEO of a pharmaceutical company co-founded by Milan Puskar, WVU’s major supporter and the namesake of the university’s Milan Puskar Stadium. 

When officials realized that an assistant coach at Baylor University sent Lambert a term paper for a Westark course while recruiting him to come to Baylor, Westark Community College, now a part of the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith, canceled Lambert’s associate degree. Lambert also accused the coach of handing him a subsidized car and apartment, both of which might be considered NCAA violations, according to the Houston Chronicle in 1994. 

In July 2007, the University of Edinburgh rescinded Robert Mugabe’s honorary degree, which he had received in 1984 as Zimbabwe’s prime minister and now president. According to the Guardian, the degree praised Mugabe’s “services to African education.” Since then, he has been blamed for Zimbabwe’s economic decline and accused of operating a harsh regime. 

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In July 2010, Harvard University revoked Russian spy Andrey Bezrukov’s graduate degree in public administration, despite the fact that he had attended Harvard under the identity Donald H. Heathfield. When the Kennedy School discovers mistakes in a student’s application, it normally ends the student’s engagement with the school. 

According to The Sydney Morning Herald in 1952, Anna Gomberg’s veterinary science degree was revoked due to a foolish experiment. According to the publication, Gomberg allegedly deprives a cow of water for nine days and treats the cow’s udder with boiling water and turpentine to test the effect of electric shocks on milk yield. After the Ministry of Agriculture’s Collegium annulled Gomberg’s degree from the Moscow Veterinary Academy, she was fired from her employment at the Veterinary Institute and assigned to work in production.


What factors can lead to a degree being revoked? 

Providing false information on an application for admission, cheating on an examination, and tampering with records are all examples of activity that could result in the degrees being revoked. In cases of plagiarism or research misconduct, the University may withdraw a degree. 

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When does a university have the authority to withdraw a degree? 

To revoke a degree, an institution must first determine that the graduate violated one or more of its academic policies in a serious way while still a student. Academic misconduct is defined by colleges and universities in extensive student behavior regulations that vary by institution. 

Is it possible to have a degree revoked? 

For a graduate, revocation is unsurprisingly severe. If a degree is canceled, the graduate’s employment opportunities, possibilities of enrolment in future education, as well as their reputation and livelihood, may be severely harmed. 

Is it possible to have a PHD degree revoked? 

Yes, they have the authority to cancel your degree if you violated any university rules that caused you to fail a course. When they discover that you plagiarized a thesis or dissertation, this is the most common scenario. 

Is it possible to remove a PHD? 

A university’s decision to revoke a student’s degree is uncommon, but it does happen – usually, as we’ve seen, if the university determines the student has engaged in some type of misbehavior. … 

Is it possible to have a degree canceled after graduation in the Philippines? 

If it is proven that an honor or distinction was given through deception, the institution has the ability to revoke or rescind the honor or distinction it has bestowed. The Court of Appeals concluded that a university’s independence does not end with a student’s “graduation.” 

Is it possible for a university to rescind acceptance? 

Although universities hate to do it and thankfully don’t have to do it very frequently, a college’s offer of admission can be revoked or rescinded after the acceptance letter has been sent. … To confirm admittance, the college will need her diploma and final senior grades. 

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Is it possible for a university to keep your transcripts? 

When students fail to pay their financial obligations to the school, colleges place holds on academic transcripts, grade reports, and even diplomas. … Even though you don’t owe the school any money, if you default on a federal student loan, the school may withhold transcripts.



How to avoid the pitfalls of academic dishonesty. 


By avoiding the necessity to cheat, you can prevent the temptation to cheat. Important due dates should be listed in your syllabus by your school. Make the most of this information by working backwards and setting personal deadlines for yourself to complete your assignment in stages. 

Learn the policies that apply to your school. 

While I’ve covered the most frequent forms of academic misconduct, each school is unique and will have its own set of rules. If something is unclear, read it carefully and ask questions. You don’t want to lose your degree because of a technicality. 

Make a system and get organized. 

Keep all of your notes and resources in one folder and summarize as you go. In terms of my home, I am not the most organized person, but I adore electronic organization. I make a new folder for each assignment and keep all of my downloaded sources there. A Word document with notes and links to my sources is also created. In addition to quotation marks, I use a different color font when copying and pasting a direct passage. This saves me a lot of time when it comes to finding references, especially while writing my bibliography. 

Only losing your valid data and then being accused of faking it is worse than manipulating your data! Yes, this does occur. At any time, your university has the right to request copies of the raw data you utilized in your coursework and dissertation/thesis. Keep backups of your raw data until your school can no longer reasonably request them (preferably on a cloud-based drive like Dropbox or Google Drive) (typically graduation). 

Before you send it in, make sure it’s free of plagiarism. 

As I have stated, plagiarizing is really easy, even when it is not your purpose. Many institutions will grant free Turnitin access; take advantage of it. There are additional options online if your school does not allow access. Take a look at Grammarly or QueText, for example. 

Make a request for assistance. 

Go straight to the source if you’re having trouble with an assignment or research project. Talk to your professor, lecturer, or tutor; he or she may be a huge help when it comes to reviewing work, going over an idea, or figuring out how to improve your work. Additionally, our Grad Coach team is here to provide you with specialized assistance – simply contact us.

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